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With the launch of the revamped Gold Quills awards programme on Monday, 15 September Victorian IABC members met at a lunchtime roundtable with 2014 ‘Best of the Best’ Gold Quill winners to hear the secrets of their success.


State the obvious

“State the obvious” may not sound like great advice, but it's crucial when thinking about your Gold Quill entry, according to previous winners who attended the recent IABC Victoria Gold Quill roundtable.  “With a global judging panel looking for clarity around the business drivers and the ways your communications project supported these, it is really important that you frame your submission well in the introduction,” according to Ayllie White, Head of Public Affairs at Transurban. “Remember a global audience will not understand your cultural shorthand,” she added.  Ayllie’s submission, which was on behalf of Transurban and VicRoads, won the prestigious global Business Issues award for 2014.

Julie Weldon agrees.  Director of JAW Communications and IABC Victoria Member Chair, Julie has been a Blue Ribbon judge since 2013.  “A submission that really spells it out – business objective and how the communications objectives and results directly supported this – is always a pleasure to read.  It’s even better if the work samples are structured logically, and clearly referred to in the submission so judges can refer directly to them as supporting material,” Julie says.



Other key ingredients in a successful submission include measurement and senior stakeholder engagement. “It's essential to show how you used research and available data to inform the direction of your project and communication objectives,” says Rebecca McIntyre, who submitted the ‘Best of the Best’ winning entry on behalf of the team at Cabrini Health.  “We had a mix of quantitative and qualitative measurement and benchmarks, which we clearly tied to addressing the business need," she added.


The ‘Midas Touch’

All attendees agreed that the ‘Midas Touch’ guide provided by the IABC should form the core guideline for any Gold Quills submission. This outlines what evaluators should look for in a submission and hence also outline the key issues that a submission should cover.

The lively and informative lunch time roundtable was chaired by Alison Gillies, Communications Manager at Aurecon and IABC Victoria Education Chair of Corporate Communications. Feedback from participants and prospective Gold Quills entrants was very positive.


Submission deadlines

The 2015 Gold Quills Awards program is subject to new submission deadlines. The closing dates are earlier than previous years:

Nov 12 2014: Early Bird Deadline

Jan 07 2015: FINAL Deadline

Are you interested?

If you would like to enter a Gold Quills submission and would like support from a local board member or mentoring from a previous winner, please contact Alison Gillies or Zora Artis.